03-13-08 One of the things about painting is how it can make one feel humble and sometimes inept especially when attempting to paint a distinguishable face approximately 1" in size. Artists who accomplish this have my admiration. Today, that is the area I will continue to work, my goal is to leave each brush stroke alone so the color and values stay fresh and clean. Wish me nimble fingers and sharp eyes!
I began this painting today featuring a Cherokee dancer. The dancer is taken from a photograph taken by my brother at the local Bell Pow Wow. The landscape behind the dancer is pure imagination. I wanted a composition for this painting that placed the focus on the dancer and I think this one works. This is almost a cruciform composition with the dark clouds above the dancer's head and the darks opposite each arm. It may be a bit too busy so will keep looking at it as I work more on the figure.
This first photo shows the initial blocking in to cover the canvas. My basic palette is Caput Mortuum, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide (TYIO), Burnt Umber, Raw Umber and Yellow Ochre which is more opaque than the TYIO. The orange glow you is the TYI Oxide initially used to tone the unstretched canvas. Naples Yellow is a staple on my palette and it is often used in the place of Titanium White.
This second photo shows the figure beginning to take shape with placement of the fringes, feathers and angle of the arms.